A few weeks ahead of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, you can now go hunting for dinosaurs on your phone and plop them into your everyday life, all for free.
The first of the big “like Pokemon GO but with … ” games has arrived. Jurassic World Alive, by the developer Ludia, has arrived for both iOS and Android devices today in the U.S., though it’s been available in other countries for a while now in soft launch.
Similar to Niantic’s monster hit from a few summers ago, Jurassic World Alive wants you to get out and explore your world, which it does by layering both dinosaurs and Supply Drops — basically checkpoints where you can grab more supplies and in-game currency — over a map supplied via integration with Google Maps. Since you can’t really catch these dinosaurs, the idea is that you hit them with darts fired from a drone in order to grab some of their sweet, sweet DNA.
There’s also an asynchronous PvP element as you take the dinos you’ve collected and use them to battle teams of dinosaurs assembled by other players, attempting to climb the ranks in a manner not unlike Clash Royale or any number of other mobile games. The battles are very simple turn-based affairs, but there is some definite strategy involved when it comes to the timing of attacks and swapping out your active dinosaur for another one.
But what’s undoubtedly going to be the favorite feature for many people is the ability to bring dinosaurs to life in augmented reality. The game doesn’t lean quite as hard on AR in its core mechanics as Pokemon GO, but you’re able to take any dinosaur you’ve collected and bring it to life in your immediate surroundings, which is undeniably cool.
As well, you can follow through more thoroughly on the themes of Jurassic World and its soon to be released sequel by combining the DNA of dinosaurs to create hybrids, including the Indominus Rex from the movies. That’s presented as A Bad Idea™ in the films, but hey, nothing could go wrong on your phone, right? Right?!?